This study employed the systems concept that the overall success of a social product results from a combination of adoption rate and effectiveness and that product design improvement involves the generation of an attractive alternative product design, which is evaluated and compared with the conventional design on the basis of appropriate adoption rate and effectiveness measures. Group interviews and preliminary marketing research that involved actual and potential consumers of a defensive driving course were used to identify a number of salient course characteristics. The scope of the study was limited by confining the investigation to a single important course dimension-program context. Based on further marketing research combined with the judgment of experts in the driver education field, an alternative defensive driving course was formulated that included three new content items and fuel economy training. Subsequent experimental administration and testing of the alternate and conventional programs revealed that the alternate program was responsible for male drivers exhibiting a significant improvement on two of the three intermediate measures of effectiveness, i.e., fuel consumption and behind-the-wheel tests, and for female drivers exhibiting an improvement on the fuel consumpti9n test. Following the laboratory experiment to measure program effectiveness, the programs were subjected to a field adoption experiment in a suburban community setting. Comparison of the resulting course registrations revealed a significantly higher rate of adoption for the alternate program. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 56-62
  • Monograph Title: Pedestrian Controls, Bicycle Facilities, Driver Research, and System Safety
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00173108
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026571
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 18 1978 12:00AM